The Day of the Locust

by: Nathanael West

Chapter 27

The final image of The Day of the Locust, in which the mob appears to have turned Tod slightly mad, recalls the same sort of grotesque imagery that has pervaded the entire novel. Whereas the grotesque usually repulses Tod or incites him to analysis, at this point he unconditionally laughs at the image of his own human body, with the inhuman sound of the siren seemingly coming from his mouth. Tod's imitation of the siren in the final line gestures towards the underlying horror of the novel—the horror of people who have lost their humanity and become objects.